‘Retreat while you still can’

Jacek Karnowski, the editor-in-chief of the conservative Polish weekly Sieci, calls on the new Polish government of Donald Tusk to withdraw from their unlawful attack on public media

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: Jacek Karnowski
The protest against the attack on Polish public media in front of the TVP headquarters in Warsaw. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced on Wednesday that a new initiative on public media will be presented “in January.” His proposal, extended to President Andrzej Duda, emphasizes rebuilding public media within a robust legal framework.

The notion of establishing a special parliamentary committee to delve into the constitutional aspects of a public media overhaul, as suggested by Tusk, is overshadowed by a broader narrative of legislative overreach and a departure from democratic principles. In this context, the government’s call for “legislative originality and courage in thinking” is seen as a euphemism for legal manipulation to consolidate power over media outlets.

The constitution, laws, and hundreds of other regulations have been trampled upon. Today, the law in Poland is not respected. Instead of democracy, we have a “democratorship.” Power, sheer power, decides.

The neo-authorities of the unlawfully taken-over public television network have launched neo-TVP Info and earlier, neo-Wiadomości (News). The viewership ratings are dismal and will remain so. The myth of passive, unaware TVP viewers, who watched public media for lack of an alternative, has collapsed loudly. People choose “Wiadomości” and TVP Info consciously — not because they had no choice. The left and liberals believed in their own propaganda.

The forceful strike on TVP was an act of political and legal barbarism. It was also the moment when the rule of law was essentially abolished in Poland.

The law no longer protects those targeted by Tusk’s power.

The damage is immense, but it can still be minimized. Tusk’s team can still withdraw from this attack on free media. They can still reverse at least some of the effects of what they have done. This move can also be done for their own good. The illegal pacification of TVP, Polish Radio, and Polish Press Agency (PAP) is the beginning of the end of their power. It marks the entirety of the new coalition government with the deadly poison of martial law — a poison that will eventually lead to an explosion that will sweep away the new regime, especially since it came to power based on a thousand lies.

Retreat while you still can.

Return TVP to its rightful authorities. Return Polish Radio and PAP. Remove the usurpers. The cost of this retreat will be much lower than the final bill that history will present to you.

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